Continuing to solidify the legacies and sacrifices veterans have made, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation to recognize New Yorkers who served the United States. A portion of the state highway system in the town of Irondequoit will be dedicated to a lifelong resident in Rochester.
Major General Norbert J. Rappl’s name and legacy will now be forever part of his hometown of Irondequoit.
“Veterans Day [is] a day that we honor all those who have served past and present,” said Assemblymember Sarah Clark of the 136th District. “But it's also a day to remember those who served above and beyond, particularly when they came home.”
A portion of NY-590 was dedicated as the Major General Norbert J. Rappl Memorial Highway.
"You don't just get your name on a building because you make a donation,” Clark said. “But you can also do it by just living 91 years in service to your community and for, you know, my children and other children to read his name and to see it, they'll know, ‘Hey, that's a person I should understand or know.’”
Major General Norbert has dedicated 35 years in the armed forces as the commanding general of the US Army Reserve 98th division, he has helped train thousands of soldiers stationed in Rochester.
“Growing up with my dad, we didn't realize all the stuff that he was involved in,” Major General Rappl’s daughter Laurie Rappl said. “We knew he was very busy. But it wasn't till we saw his obituary that we realized all the things and all the accolades that he had gotten. We were amazed by that.”
He continued his services as a charter member of the Rotary Club, as a founding member of Christ the King and decades of service to veterans and service organizations.
“The man that we knew was remarkable enough,” Rappl said. “But the fact that so many other people knew of, well, a different, remarkable man. And it was the same man. And I think this is extremely fitting that this be given to him.”
Officials hope commemorating those who have served will solidify their legacies and those who continue to pass by the sign will remember the sacrifices made by the heroes behind it.
“He's a real example of how if each of us paid attention to our families in our faith and our community as much as he did, what an amazing country we would have,” said Rappl.